Jurors who see the scene of a crime in RV make better decisions, according to a study

Jurors who see the scene of a virtual reality (VR) crime before ruling in a court case are more likely to come to the right decision, investigators have reported.

In a study published by the University of South Australia, investigators, legal professionals, police and forensics simulated a scene of success and reconstruction of the facts with a laser scanner to compare the verdicts between the “jurors” who used 3D headphones and those that depend on photographs of the scene.

They found that jurors who used VR headsets had better memory, spatial accuracy, and more consistent verdicts.

“Virtual reality also required significantly less effort than the use of photographs to arrange the sequence of events,” said researcher Andrew Cunningham.

Study participants who saw the scene through a 3D headset were 9.5 times more likely (87 percent) to choose the same verdict (death for dangerous driving) than the group that relied on photographs, divided 47/53 percent between a careless driving verdict and dangerous driving verdict.

“Participants who were immersed in the scene were more likely to correctly remember the location of the car in relation to the victim at the time of the accident, while it was difficult for people to visualize the scene from images. fixed.

“This provides unequivocal evidence that interactive technology leads to fairer and more consistent verdicts and, in fact, could be the future of courtrooms,” Dr Cunningham said.

The team believes site visits continue to be the “gold standard” for providing jurors with a realistic impression of a scene, but they also have their drawbacks.

“They are expensive, especially in remote places, and in some cases the place has changed, making accurate visualization impossible,” added principal investigator Dr. Carolin Reichherzer.

Virtual reality takes precedence in the courtroom, internationally, as in 2019, when the Bavarian State Criminal Office created an interactive scene of the famous Auschwitz concentration camp to help the prosecution case in a trial for war crimes.

The technology is also used in healthcare environments; a 2019 study found it was helpful in relieving anxiety in patients who were in neurosurgery.

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